Halloween II (2009)

Rob Zombie's Halloween IIReviewed by Andrew Kasch

Starring Scout Taylor Compton, Tyler Mane, Malcolm McDowell, Danielle Harris

Directed by Rob Zombie

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

That’s an average line spoken in Halloween II, sometimes – and I’m not kidding – for minutes at a time. From the overuse of profanity, trailer trash stereotypes, gratuitous use of cameos and angelic images of Sheri Moon, it’s as though Rob Zombie listened to every complaint about his remake and amped it up for this badly self-indulgent sequel. Is it out of spite for his critics, or is it because the man just can’t do anything else? Regardless, Halloween II is every bit as pointless a sequel to the first as that film was a pointless remake of the John Carpenter classic.

It’s pretty clear in the first twenty minutes that Zombie has already run out of story ideas and is simply stringing his characters along just for the sake of making a sequel. Things start off okay enough with a near-catatonic Laurie Strode rushed to Haddonfield Hospital in the bloody aftermath of Michael Myers’ rampage. Unfortunately the coroners didn’t think to remove the “dead” Myers’ mask and check for a pulse, and he quickly rises to go after his kid sister. There’s an abridged version of the original Halloween II hospital rampage as Myers stalks Laurie that’s well shot and ratchets up some decent tension. But it’s all for naught because Zombie decides to make the first act an elaborate dream sequence. So much for stakes.

We catch up with Laurie a year later. She’s traumatized, morphed into a grunge chick and Margot Kidder is her therapist (so you know she’s really fucked). She lives in the secluded backwoods with surviving pal Annie (Danielle Harris) and even has slutty replacement friends to fill out the body count portion. But Michael Myers, now dressed head-to-toe in homeless rags and sporting a ZZ Top beard, has spent the past year living in the wild somewhere far away and decides it’s time to go after his sister once again. Tis the season…

Rob Zombie's Halloween IIThe maskless Hobo Myers spends about half the film walking through barren fields like we’re watching some Werner Herzog nature documentary. He randomly kills any cameo actor who crosses his path and dons a tattered version of The Shape mask whenever he gets really pissed. In the second half Myers finally shows back up in town and begins systematically knocking off Laurie’s friends all over again. How does he know where she’s hiding? And why does he continue to stealthily bump off everyone around her when he can just go straight for the prize kill? I have no idea.

Meanwhile, Dr, Loomis (a returning Malcolm McDowell) has reached celebrity status with his latest tell-all Myers book and has turned into a cartoonish ego-maniac who hurls insults at journalists and throws diva tantrums (“I’m the NEW Loomis!” he screams when he sees an old photo of himself dressed in Donald Pleasence’s signature trenchcoat). The return of Loomis really serves no purpose other than to vocalize Zombie’s anger towards fans and critics, but McDowell is clearly having fun with the character, and his scenery chewing is the only thing that breaks up the boredom of the Laurie/Michael storyline.

It’s no surprise the most embarrassing moments belong to Sheri Moon Zombie, who appears alongside a giant white horse (!) in several bad David Lynch-wannabe dream sequences. For reasons unknown both Michael and Laurie are having the same dreams and even witness visions of Young Michael, horrendously played by a new kid actor (Zombie would’ve been better off re-casting an older Daeg Faerch). These rapid-fire music video sequences are so mind-scathingly awful, they border on unintentional hilarity. Everything else in this film is a bloody bore of ancient slasher cliches. Every kill is painfully telegraphed and executed in Zombie’s typical shaky-cam fashion.

The high point of Halloween II is Brad Dourif, who is the only cast member delivering something beyond a two-dimensional performance. He gives a genuinely likable, sympathetic portrayal of Sherriff Brackett, and every time he’s on screen, you can’t help but dream of a better film where a gun-toting Dourif leads a Michael Myers manhunt without the rest of these annoying hick characters.

Of all the films in the Michael Myers franchise, this Halloween II may be the most plodding and thin entry to date. It should also be noted that the classic Halloween theme doesn’t appear once in this film except during the end credits where it is paired with a reprisal of “Love Hurts”. Thanks, Rob.


2 out of 5

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  • horror_heights

    Halloween2:ElectricBooglaloo is such a terrible film that has officially ruined Rob Zombie’s street cred. He needs to get rid of that skank Sherrie Moon, or at least stop putting her in all of his films!!! Whenever I hear that someone is presenting a “re-imagining” of a movie this translates as follows: “The makers of this film are going to fuck up the story but still try to sell it with the brand name of the original”. The SyFy channel makes a living off of doing this (e.g. Battlestar Galatica, which rapes the original name but changed and therefore ruined everything else). Rob Zombie made up a stupid role for his girlfriend could be in his movie, which is self-indulgent and disrespectful to those who loved the original work. All they ended up with was a piece of crap.

  • PelusaMG

    I finally saw this film last night, and at the risk of drawing ire from DC readers (but who cares about that anyway), I thought this was a half descent film – not the train wreck I was led to believe it was by the reviews. Okay, it is a film with problems – about 10/15 minutes too long and far too much ghost mom/son imagery – but that aside I thought it was Zombie’s best film to date, and a SIGNIFICANT improvement over his first Halloween film.

    *** Spoilers ***

    It is clear that Zombie has tried to add a level of intelligence to this film. This is not a by-the-numbers hack and slash sequel. I liked the gradual re-awakening of Michael and his three day return back to Haddonfield. I thought he did a good job showing us how characters had been affected by the events of the first film, although Angel/Laurie’s character was not as developed in this respect as I would have liked (although it seems from interviews with RZ that he wanted to do something different with Laurie, but was over-ridden). I liked Loomis’ character, and it seemed he logically became what he was in this film. Loomis in all the other Halloween sequels was just a rehash of what he was in the first, and there was never any attempt to move him on. I thought the final scene with him and Michael was a little forced/rushed, but logically saw no other place for it to go unless we rehashed things ad nauseum.

    I also thought Tyler Mane did a great job as Michael… just wish he’d killed the kid who says, “Are you a giaaaaant?” – Ah well, can’t have everything!

    The kills in this film are brutal, and not since the head-smashing scene in “American History X” have I felt affected by such (and being a parent and watching this film made me really empathise with Brackett’s situation). I thought there was a bit too much Myers’ grunting in the kills, but as I thought about this he also grunts in other Halloween films, so I guess that’s okay then (!?).

    For me this was a beautifully shot film, and I totally loved the decision to shoot on a format that brought out the grain. If lacking in some story/plot/character respects, for me this film was definitely not lacking technically.

    I tried to think about why this film was not well-received and did not do as well at the box office, and I think it’s because Zombie has tried to move the story beyond that of a mere by-the-numbers Michael-hack-slash film. He has clearly tried to engage in the idea of what might have happened to these people over the course of a year. That’s why I think “FD4” did so well – because it pure mindless spectacle! I also think this is a film that requires repeat viewing to ‘get it’. Once you know what it’s all about, it is a good film and one I will definitely buy on DVD and watch again and again.

    In terms of the Halloween franchise, there is no way this can be or should be compared to “Halloween: Resurrection”. IMO, I would actually say this is the second best Halloween film, after the original of course. It is different, but deliberately so. I think Zombie has exhausted his take on the franchise, but this is not a bad way to go out. I look forward to someone else’s take on things, but I applaud this film for what it is, and tried to be.

  • Rorschach

    Why am I not surprised to read that this turned out to be one big, fat, giant FUCK YOU from Zombie to the people who hated his first effort?

    From merely seeing the trailers, I had gleaned that the inclusion of Sheri Moon, the kid mocking how big Myers is, and the “Incredible Myers” flipping over a car were ALL giant raised middle fingers stuck in the faces of the people who bitched about his first movie.

    So yeah…not surprised he torpedoed this film, though I am disappointed to hear it. I for one was HOPING that the trailers were just Rob fucking around, and that I’d come on here and read how the trailers were misleading, and that HALLOWEEN 2 fixed all the bad shit Rob did in the first movie.

    Instead, I see that not only did he fix nothing, he threw shit in JUST to further piss off those who disliked his first effort. Instead of taking that criticism and learning from it, and trying to tone DOWN the profanity, and trying to give us a HALLOWEEN that we could enjoy with Loomis hunting Myers hunting Laurie….he does this bizarre shit, and cranks up the F-Bomb meter to 11.

    If I were a Hollywood executive…I’d not let Zombie anywhere NEAR the proposed “BLOB” remake. He has proven himself unworthy of that honor twice now. In fact, before I’d ever let him DIRECT anything again, I’d insist he spend some time as an assistant director, or even just directing minor stuff written by other people.

  • andyse7en2000

    It seems out of all the main reviews knocking around at the moment only ‘Arrow In The Head’ seemed to like this movie.
    The problem is that when people see ‘Halloween’ in the title they expect it to be a ‘Halloween’ type movie.
    But Zombie seems not to want to make a movie for fans of the franchise-his self-indulgence has no bounds.
    Rob Zombie makes movies that he wants to watch and doesn’t give a fuck about the critics,professional or armchair.
    As a Director his budgets may have risen over the years but he is anything but mainstream and never will be.
    It makes me laugh every time I see a message posted complaining that ‘THIS IS NOTHING LIKE A HALLOWEEN MOVIE!
    This is a Rob Zombie film for fuck sake.What did you expect?

    • jesstro

      I totally agree w/ this assesment, I appreciate to see the new vision Rob Zombie has on Michael Meyers. The original of course is an all-time great, but if all that everyone wanted was a simple rehash, then they should have hired any director and told them to make Halloween again… no thanks. Rob Zombie is a sick dude, and I like to partake in a little disturbing visuals every once in a while 🙂
      But I will say this in regards to taking on the task of doing a remake of Halloween… IT HAS TO BE SCARY or CREEPY. Rob Zombie missed those marks GREATLY! Since that is what made the original so great; the music, the tension, and the lighting. Oh well, at least we still got the originals on DVD 🙂

  • m0nica_09

    Rob Zombie completely butchered one of the best classic horror movies. I’m not a Rob Zombie fan, I personally don’t like any of his movies or style. I understand this was his remake and point of view on the movie but I think he just ruined it, if he was going to change it that much from the original, why not make a totally different movie. A remake is a remake and i think it should be as close to the original as possible only better, not a white trash version mockery like the rest of his movies. The only thing he’s good at is the gore, but then again someone else probably does that for him?

  • Cash Bailey

    i thought it was hilarious that Zombie has so little faith in what he’s putting on the screen that he actually puts a title card up explaining the half-assed symbolism he uses.

    Or maybe it was just the result of poor test screenings.

    • Shambling_in_Bandages

      More likely that he guessed the IQ of his average fan.

  • Masked Slasher

    While this was a *slight* improvement upon Zombieween, it’s still an awful film. And that doesn’t just stem from Rob’s writing, either (which is horrible).

    While Zombie does have an eye for visuals, he can’t gel them together into something cohesive. This is a very violent film, but nothing matters. There’s zero suspense, the kills are exactly the same and the ending anticlimactic.

    Just a miserable cinematic experience. Not fun. Not scary. Not interesting. Just a disaster.

  • Permafrost

    I’ll say this.

    I have no problem with H2… It actually felt a little more focused that the first movie and Rob did a great job in a short period of time. I know and appreciate why people hate what he has done. Lots of excellent opinions from people who are very passionate about their movies.

    • The Woman In Black

      Although I do have a few problems with it — like too much Sheri and not enough Danielle — I tend to agree it’s better than the first. Nowhere near the disaster I was expecting, especially after seeing it panned by just about every reviewer out there, including those who did like the first. But then again, I typically go against the grain of the majority. Not the best movie of the year (or of Rob’s career) certainly, but nowhere near the worst either. As for comparing it to FD4, I’d have to give the edge to H2 (by maybe 1/4 of a knife) since it was brutal as hell and just felt more like a “real” movie.

  • anginewlon

    as im reading all these comments i can tell just by reading each and everyone’s comment that none of you like stories or truths behind the movies that you watch or have seen. I love what Rob Zombie is doing with the Halloween movies. unlike the originals he makes the truth clear on why michael meyers is who he is and why he does what he does, clearly that was what the original movies were lacking. Maybe saying that he is remaking them is really what he is not trying to do, that would be to easy….maybe take into consideration that he is remaking them to an extent but in the same process of making a new story for the movie and showing the facts behind Micheal’s psychotic sensibilies. MAYBE PAY A LITTLE MORE ATTENTION !!!!! In Rob’s honor i hope that his story of the Halloween legacy continues…..I would love to see more of what he can do with it. Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 and 2 kicked major ass and they fucking rocked!!! i loved them both.

    • Shambling_in_Bandages

      “I love what Rob Zombie is doing with the Halloween movies”

      Wrong tense. The Weinsteins are already looking for “a new direction” for ‘Halloween’. Sanest decision they’ve made for a while.

    • Carrion Filth

      Ok first off this might not have lived up to the hype of what everbody thought it was going to be but it was still a pretty good little flick for what it was. What I don’t get is that everybody was on here bitching about how they wanted Rob to do his own thing with this movie and now there on here bitching about how it was to much of his own idea.Are we at the point where we just write mindless bullshit on here just to be doing it.As far as the review goes it was about as fair as it could be but I know that FD4 wasn’t any better than what we had with this one so I don’t agree with the review that was put on that fucking stupid movie.If anything they both did as well as the other and that at this point isn’t that great.So if Rob got a 2 I think FD4 should get one too.I mean how many movies about teenagers getting killed off by the wind do we really need at this point in life.

      • Shambling_in_Bandages

        “everybody was on here bitching about how they wanted Rob to do his own thing and now there on here bitching about how it was to much of his own idea”

        The people who make up the former group aren’t necessarily the very same people who are in the latter group.

  • mikesnoonian

    I think my wife and I are in the minority where we really liked this movie. The first one left me with a meh, didn’t love it, didn’t hate it feeling.

    I don’t think Zombie’s movies tarnish the near-perfection that is Carpenter’s original vision any more than countless shitty sequels do.

    I get the feeling that Zombie was much more interested in telling Laurie’s story of someone trying to survive a fucked up experience but slowly sliding into madness instead of another Michael Myers story. I’d have been interested in seeing that story as something original as pposed to another Halloween entry with the burden and baggge the expectations bring.

    Someone does need to pull Zombie aside and tell him not every small town is populated with rednecks and strippers.

    shameless plug: my own review here:

  • shaneg

    Saw it Saturday morning. Abysmal. My expectations were low going in, and I was still disappointed. I didn’t hate or love the first one. It was just kind of there for me. This on the other hand? I was actually kind of angry when I left the theater. Pointlessly violent in a bad way, mommy visions, and the white horse symbolism were the main things that ruined it for me. The only parts of it I liked were Danielle Harris and Brad Dourif. I’m sure somebody out there liked it, and that’s OK. Their opinion, not mine.

  • Sirand

    For those still claiming bias, Halloween II is now officially the most critically-panned entry in the series just behind Halloween: Resurrection.

    • Raider Redux

      #1) FINAL DESTINATION $28.3 Million

      #2) INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Week Two) $20 Million

      #3) HOBOWEEN $17.4 — which includes grosses from an EXTRA midnight show. Fail.

      • Didn’t See It Coming

        “Rob may have lost popularity within the horror community but we are the minority. The average movie going person cares little about horror, however, at the moment I can’t think of a more generally popular or widely known horror director than him. I didn’t even realize he was as popular as he was when House came out. I was shocked at the amount of people in the theatre day after day. I don’t think there’s going to even be a contest this weekend. I don’t think FD has a prayer.”

        Yep. Not a prayer. Funny how it’s the little insignificant things that can bring a smile to one’s face.

        • Ultimo Franco

          Source the quote, I beg you!

          *edit* Never mind. I found it. Nice catch! I love it when words come back to haunt people.

  • Floydian Trip

    I think the majority of people on messages boards and web sites are going to be bitching about this movie without having seen it themselves.

  • The Unknown Murderer

    Remember Devin Feraci’s infamous “Fuck You Out of 10” given to the remake of Halloween?

    You should read his review at Chud for this one. He didn’t hate the film, but he didn’t entirely like it, either.

    In fact, he mentions what many of us have thought about Zombie’s skills as a screenwriter in that he really needs someone to help him with his writing, and he may then be able to show everyone that he can be a really, really good director.

    P.S. I love Danielle Harris. She’s the bees knees.

  • mycho

    Rob Zombie?

    Man that guys Horrible.

  • JoeDarkfall

    I thought about seeing this with my Brother, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

    Here’s Why.

    I love many of Carpenter’s Original movies. But I was willing to give the remakes/revisions a try and what did I get?

    Dear Jesus they raped, pillaged, plundered, & disemboweled my beloved…. The Fog. How do you go from Zombie Leppars to flame throwing ghosts?

    And then there was Halloween. Dear Lord, after seeing that one I ran home and washed my eyes out with mouthwash. There was only three things I liked about Zombie’s remake.

    1) Danny Trejo – I love this guy….such a cool dude and have been hooked on him since, From Dusk Til Dawn.

    2) Big Joe Grizzly – Probably the most realistic scene in the whole movie.

    3) Daniel Harris – Great to see her back in the Franchise and her skin suit.

    The rest was just horrid. He took Jason’s reason for killing and gave it to Michael. That was the scariest thing about Meyers in the Originals, he didn’t have a reason, he just was the beast.

    So I’ll wait til my brother buys the DVD and sit through it. Hopefully it’ll be better. I’m not closed minded to Zombie’s movies.

    I hated House of a 1000 Corpses, but loved The Devil’s Rejects. So maybe it’ll be the same with his Haloween.

  • PelusaMG

    This reviewer was brutally honest too – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPpEmNEGFeE – but I also got the feeling that this guy has not sat through “Halloween: Resurrection” in a movie theater either…

  • Foywonder

    Ever notice it’s always the 2/5 knife reviews that bring about the most ire?

  • Cash Bailey

    Hold the Press!! Rob Zombie makes another shitty HALLOWEEN movie!!

    Fuck you all who actually liked the first one.

  • AriesofPitt

    NO!!! A HALLOWEEN movie without the classic HALLOWEEN music? WTF!

  • Uncle Creepy

    All this back and forth is a great thing and has actually got me jazzed to see this flick. Zombie’s got a blank slate from me right now, as do all filmmakers when I see their stuff — except those Taurus people who can go and fuck themselves with their Day of the Dead cash-ins.

    When I do see it, expect me to be mixing it up with you guys, and, I can tell already — look forward to one hell of a Dinner for Fiends.

  • Nomad

    I don’t disagree with Andrew enough to write a counter point review, but did want to say some things. Minor spoilers below!!

    First, the movie I was jazzed to see after talking to Rob Zombie on a couple of occasions wasn’t really what I got. I expected Laurie to be popping anti hallucinogenics and pain killers for her extensive battle scars but if she was, they didn’t play that up at all. They displayed her new “fucked up” attitude through wall graffiti and an urgency to get drunk. Not exactly the mess of a woman I expected. Sure she was tired from all the nightmares and seeing a therapist, but if they wanted to suggest a shattered mind and maybe even someone capable of snapping and eventually turning into a myers type, they didn’t pull the trigger.

    Totally agree I’d watch an entire movie of the sheriff taking the threat of Myers seriously and mounting a defense for the oncoming juggernaut making his way to town. Loomis was funny in spots but you almost could have cut him from the story as well. he was useless.

    As for the violence, it felt like there was a kill every 5 minutes and that cheapens the event for me. I didn’t mind the brutality and thought it was actually on target with past films..even the grunting! It just felt like there were unnecessary moments done just to show that violence. the scene in the strip bar and the hicks could have been cut completely as they added nothing to the story.

    The dream sequences were a bit laughable at times. Whenever I saw the horse I couldn’t help but think of a Duran Duran video, or any 80’s video for that matter, where a horse would stride through the background of a shot at any given moment, for no apparent reason. There may have been a way to make the dream characters creepier but that didn’t seem to be the point. On that note, I guess I didn’t get what the point actually was.

    I saw a few things in the FX trailer that were bloody as all hell and didn’t see them in the movie. No building of tension..maybe 2 semi decent jump scares and not one super creepy visual from my own POV…so while I didn’t HATE the movie, I wouldn’t recommend it to friends looking for a great saturday night spook fest. On the other hand, if you liked the first Zombie Halloween, you’ll probably really dig this.

  • jarhead

    Are we surprised Brad is the only highlight of this film?? Dude is the shit and waiting for his other film Fading of the Cries to come out! Disappointed though cuz Malcom’s pretty good too normally.

  • Raider Redux

    And hilarity ensues.

    Haven’t seen this movie and have no intention of giving the Weinsteins any of my money to do so. If I can get in free, then maybe. Otherwise, I’ll save my money for the Grindhouse Film Festival Screening of Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE this Saturday in Portland, OR. They scored an actual 35 MM print!

    However, Dread Central’s integrity has been questioned and I take serious issue with that.

    I praise Andrew for not doing the leg humping I’ve seen on display on a few other sites. In fact one site that shall remain nameless, whose been in bed with the production for a while now, hasn’t even posted a review as of this writing, yet posted a very negative review of HALLOWEEN II’s main competition this weekend. And you question OUR integrity?

    UC is correct in that giving a film a negative review does us no favors. Like all sites and news organizations, Dread Central requires “access” in order to get interviews, access to the set for coverage, etc. Running a negative review always risks putting you on bad terms with studios and Prod Cos, which can have a negative effect on said access, which is why some sites never run negative reviews, but merely “pan” movies; meaning they don’t say it’s a good movie, but they sure as hell don’t say it’s a bad one either.

    Kudos to Andrew for giving HIS honest opinion of the film.

    And, in the end, it’s just that, a freaking opinion. If you RZ fans have a different one — awesome. Good for you. Go see the movie several times, buy the multiple DVD releases and support the genre.

  • Teen-Idol

    I’m not even going to read any reviews trying to defend this film (?). When I tried doing that for the first remake all it lead to was pain from the uncontrollable laughter of the asinine comments being left by people.

    Rob only had one goal to achieve with this cinematic abortion and Andrew’s review could all be summed up with this sentence, “..serves no purpose other than to vocalize Zombie’s anger towards fans and critics”.

    Rob didn’t care about making a good movie. He did it for the money. Can you blame the guy? Of course not. But don’t go around defending Rob as a great filmmaker cause you’ll only make a retard out of yourself to people who actually know what they’re talking about. Just because the Halloween franchise -has- been shit for years now, doesn’t give Rob an excuse to make his own shit entry.

    The only people who will enjoy this movie is the same teenage crowd who still pays for Saw 74 and other garbage like the “Meet the Spartans”.

    Rob fanboys – suck it.

    • mansuave

      Well, the guys over at Reverse Shot (reverseshot.com) were pretty fond of Rob’s first Halloween, and they’re pretty serious and thoughtful critics.

      Which isn’t to suggest that Reverse Shot is the be-all end-all of discussion, but it pokes a hole in your absurd generalization which, quite frankly, is no better than the mindless ranting of the grammatically-challenged user to whom you’re responding; you just happen to be more articulate in your thoughtlessness.

      I find Rob to be an interesting filmmaker. I enjoyed House of 1000 Corpses, I loved The Devil’s Rejects, and I thought Halloween wasn’t half bad, saddled as he was with the obligation to remake a classic while telling his own story. If I like Halloween II, does that make me a dumb teenager? My opinion does not match yours, and so I’m relegated to a lower standing? How does this empty elitism accomplish anything? What makes you so sure that you understand so much, and that anyone who disagrees on this particular topic is a retard.

      The best way to combat a troll is either through ignorance or by crafting a decent argument against him/her. There are plenty of intelligent people who enjoy Zombie’s work without being mindless drones. But then perhaps its my own fault for expecting a decent discussion on a comment board. I just keep hoping against hope.

      • Sandstonesoft

        Responding to imbeciles by calling them imbeciles isn’t thoughtless, it’s sane. He’s not responding to any particular post here, he’s just addressing a group of people that seem to be predominately incapable of answering anything negative about a work of Rob Zombie’s with an actual rebuttal that contains opinions that refute the veracity of the original reviewer’s take on the film. If you’d actually like to offer your opinions on why Zombie’s films are interesting, i for one would be happy to listen to your ideas and have an honest debate.

        For my end, the reasons i don’t particularly care for anything he’s done is because, IMO, he’s very lazy as an artist, both in his directing and his writing. He never really makes an effort to create any characters that are anything more than cardboard cut-outs with bad dialogue, and most of them are the same cardboard cut-out … not only is there no depth there, which keeps me from caring about them, often there is not much substantive difference character-to-character, which is just mindlessly boring. Also, most of his visual style and artistic direction are born from an obvious adulation of movies like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but something gets lost in the translation where he tries to replicate the raw terror and shock those movies’ scenes produced artificially by shaking the camera and overusing jump cuts and making the peak scenes as noisy as possible, and then drenching the scene in gore, as opposed to keeping the audience off-balance with creative story structuring and framing the shots in interesting ways.

        • Uncle Creepy

          There’s nothing like a sound voice of reason amidst a sea of insanity. Kudos.

      • Shambling_in_Bandages

        “I thought Halloween wasn’t half bad, saddled as he was with the obligation to remake a classic while telling his own story.”

        Zombie wasn’t “saddled” with anything, the man’s freely admitted that the decision to make the latter-half of his “reimagining” a retelling of the Carpenter stuff was his and his alone. He could have told any story he wished to, but he didn’t.

        • mansuave

          I’m sure you’re right. Friends have mentioned the same thing to me when I’ve had the argument with them. But I don’t think you can discount the enormous pressure the man must’ve been under to remake (let’s just ignore bullshit terms like “reimagine”) a classic. Of course he felt the need to retell the Carpenter story; he’d’ve been torn to shreds if he hadn’t, given the way the film was marketed (and given the recent success of horror remakes). As it is, he was (mostly) torn to shreds anyway, so he likely would’ve been better off simply telling his own story, hindsight being 20/20 and all that. I just don’t believe that he didn’t feel pressured in some way, even if it was by himself.

          That’s the problem with origin stories/first in a series/etc. The first X-Men movie had problems because it was attached to a mythology. The first Spider-Man movie, too. Hell, (and I know I’m in the minority here), BATMAN BEGINS was a thoroughly mediocre affair, hampered by cluttered (and often poor) writing, and it wasn’t until THE DARK KNIGHT that Nolan knocked it out of the park. The pressure for the director to please himself, the fans, and the moneymen is crazy, and it seems you have to prove you can score a hit with a middling film before you’re free to do what you like. Creative freedom only goes as far as the author allows himself to take it.

          I realize it sounds like I’m just making excuses here (and maybe I am), but I really don’t think Rob Zombie is getting a fair shake in all this. He deserves more credit.

          • Didn’t See It Coming

            You’re defending Rob Zombie while in the same breath saying Batman Begins is mediocre? Nothing you have to say is worth reading beyond that point.

          • Shambling_in_Bandages

            “But I don’t think you can discount the enormous pressure the man must’ve been under to remake a classic. Of course he felt the need to retell the Carpenter story; he’d’ve been torn to shreds if he hadn’t”

            He brought the pressure on himself – he said he was free to do anything he wanted with the series and he decided to do a remake. TBH, I think he would’ve faired slightly better if he hadn’t gone the remake route.

        • Mephistopheles

          I was under the impression that Rob Zombie’s initial plan was for the entire film to be what ended up as the first half of the remake, ending with Myers putting on the Shatner mask (and the second film would be the more conventional remake of him stalking Laurie), but Dimension told him not to.

          • Shambling_in_Bandages

            About halfway down the page, Zombie says that the idea to remake Carpenter’s film was his: “I watched the first movie again and came up with the idea of remaking it”.


          • Mephistopheles

            Yes, and the initial plan in remaking Halloween was different than how it ended up. He’s said this a number of times in interviews, the most recent being a video interview in Arrow in the Head. It would have been considered a remake either way as it’s not in continuity with the past films.

          • Shambling_in_Bandages

            If his first film had consisted entirely of the Smith’s Grove stuff, ending with Myers escaping and donning the mask, it wouldn’t have been a remake.

          • Mephistopheles

            Not necessarily. Nothing says that a remake has to follow the original film 100%.

          • Shambling_in_Bandages

            By that logic the forthcoming ‘Alien’ prequel could be considered a remake of ‘Alien’ if it ends with a shot of the Nostromo picking up a distress signal and heading for LV-426.

          • Mephistopheles

            Even if Rob just released the first half of his Halloween film, there’s no way that it could be considered a prequel to the original film as it pretty much reboots the entire origin. I would imagine that the Alien prequel will more or less fit into the canon of the first film.

            Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Rob’s said that his initial plan at one point for the remake was to split the story into two different films.

  • PelusaMG

    I’m not surprised that this was a negative review, but I’m still intrigued by what I’ve seen so far to go and see it. If anything, at least I’ll be able to say I saw the “Hostel 2” of Zombie’s directing career…

    • frank_dracman

      Pelusa, I saw Hostel 2 and I have no intentions of seeing this thing. Ever. I don’t even have the slightest bit of morbid curiosity. I’d rather shove a can of Red Bull up my butt.

      • The Unknown Murderer

        I would rather pay to see you do that than to see Halloween II in the theater.

        • PelusaMG

          Yeah… actually, I’m tempted to save my money to see you do that as well!

  • tray128

    uncle creepy and andrew your full of shit in fact fuck you. i read this site all the time and you obviously dont like rob and thats the basis of your hateful retarded “review” and anyone with half a brain can see that. you either A) didnt see the film yourself and go filled in by one of ur trusty co wokers or b) didnt pay much attention because your review is fucking bullshit. wow to think i thought you were a credible critic haha what a joke your just another hack at rotten tomatoes… i think you lost site on exactly what your job means perez hilton, your paid to judge the art not the artist. this film was half decent and it would have been nice to hear you be honest but whatever ill stick to bd from now on.

    • Uncle Creepy

      If you read the rest of the comments, tray, you’ll see that I said I’m reserving judgment until the weekend when I see the film. You’ll also see that I said I am a fan of Zombie’s.

      But let me get this straight because Andrew and a myriad of other critics didn’t like the movie then they are all retarded, hateful and don’t like Rob? Really, dude? Really? LOL

      How about your offer reasons why this review is bullshit. You know, discuss your issues. Why is Andrew wrong about what he said? What did he miss?

      • Sirand

        Why does every rabid RZ defender have trouble with basic English skills?

        • Uncle Creepy

          Best comment ever! From IMDB:

          “serously now these people r just jelous of rob & want to tear him down cuz they will never be him or have talent & fame like he do

          i feel they do not get robs new masterpeice of horror cuz let us face it they r morons basicaly who do not get it & need to go watch boreing old crap like that boreing ass halloween from 500 year ago

          rob zombie halloween 2007, the one true halloween”

          • Didn’t See It Coming

            You’re a better man that I am for weeding through those posts to find that gem. Wow, I never get enough of the irony.

          • AriesofPitt

            It always cracks me up when someone wants to attack someone or call them dumb or stupid because 9 times out of 10 they have the most horrific (hey, we’re on a horror site I had to put that word in my post somewhere lol) grammar and/or spelling. Makes me laugh!! Happens on YouTube ALL the time!

          • The Unknown Murderer

            Holy shit.

          • PelusaMG

            Talent and fame… talent and fame… talent… fame… Nope! I still can’t see how those two things are related, especially when Paris Hilton is walking around on the planet!

          • Shambling_in_Bandages

            Talent and Rob Zombie… talent and Rob Zombie… Nope! I still can’t see how those two things are related, either. 🙂

          • Daniel

            I must go rent this Halloween from 500 years ago!

      • Didn’t See It Coming

        Once again a Kasch review is met with ire and controversy. It’s obvious that anyone who dislikes the movie is wrong for being biased while liking it is, by no means biased.

        I really hate Rob Zombie and his fans. There I said it. I’m biased as fuck and proud of it.

        • Sandstonesoft

          Stop using logic. It scares the RZ fans. That’s why his movies are … well, the way they always are.

        • PelusaMG

          I didn’t see THAT coming! 😉

      • Mr. Gray

        Excellent comments, Tray.

        Or should I call you … SHERI MOON ZOMBIE!

    • Rottenjesus

      BD is the perfect place for such a literate and well spoken person like yourself.

    • PelusaMG

      i wont stand bye and allow you you to diss uncle creepy and andrew for this reveiw. i read this site all the time and thats a fact and thats why i will always will always so there. it is a shame that siome people whomcome to this site do not appreceate the work they do becauis they are ther they are and thats my opion and thats it so there.

    • Sandstonesoft

      Yeah, Uncle Creepy and Andrew, how dare you judge a movie based on it’s merits and then articulate the many reasons it sucked in your review. You’re (yes, that’s with an apostrophe and an “e”, dickbag) paid to agree with hostile 10-year-old’s to make them feel less depressed about their own dogshit taste in movies. Get it right next time, please.

    • Shambling_in_Bandages

      “ill stick to bd from now on.”

      Do you mean Bloody Disgusting, where the majority of site users loathe what Rob Zombie did with ‘H1’ and ‘H2’ with a passion hot enough to scorch the surface of a sun? Good choice!

    • RadianceofShadows

      2 knifes out of 5. That sounds like “half decent” to me.

  • Bone Daddy

    5-buck maninee for me on this one with Jack and Coke along for the ride…

    • Gus Bjork

      Ah, a man after my own heart.

  • quaznik

    i think a lot of you are being a tad dramatic over this movie. First off, DC has never really been a fan of the first remake and was not at all too excited about the sequel so we can only expect a bias opinion as far as a review. Second, has everyone turned idiot all the sudden and forgotten about the terrible Halloween Resurrection? Or the questionable Curse of Michael Myers? Yeah, i think zombie has done some things to the film that were unnecessary but it’s better than what the studio was doing for the series. I’d rather watch 2 hours of a white horse than ANY Saw film any day.

    • Didn’t See It Coming

      I haven’t forgotten about those movies. Sure, the remake was better than Resurrection, but it’s still a terrible movie. It doesn’t get a pass for being a slightly better piece of shit.

      As for accusations of bias…If the movie was actually good, I doubt anyone would have a problem saying so. Especially since so many of the DC guys loved The Devil’s Rejects. And no one WANTS to hate a movie. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of watching a bad one.

    • Shambling_in_Bandages

      “DC has never really been a fan of the first remake and was not at all too excited about the sequel so we can only expect a bias opinion as far as a review.”

      Now explain the negative reviews coming in from other sites. Are they all out to get Rob?

    • Uncle Creepy

      We stand to gain nothing from giving this movie a negative review so why would we be bias? The only thing we hold a stake in, as do all fans, is our love for the genre and this franchise. Of course we want this to be good. I’m a fan of Rob’s music and his movies with the exception of his last, and even then I stated publicly that I gained a semblance of respect for what Zombie did with Halloween after seeing the far more abysmal Friday the 13th remake. You’re entitled to your own opinion but don’t label us biased just because we gave ours. I’m reserving my judgment until the weekend.

  • SCanfieldFilms

    Awesome review, even though it tells me exactly what I already knew. I still see people excited for this film, and I wonder “Did they see the trailer?”

    I’ll skip this, just as I skipped the first one (which I regrettably watched on DVD) and watch Carpenter’s Halloween 1 & 2, ya know, since they are actually good.

  • Didn’t See It Coming

    Wait, you mean this movie isn’t good? I mean, how can that be? Everything else he’s done has been awesome? How could a sequel to a horribly misguided remake possibly be terrible? Oh yeah, Rob Zombie wrote it.

    I still think he might be able to direct, but I know for damn sure he can’t write.

  • BigMatt

    Your review is dead on. There are so many problems with this film, it is hard to list them all. Just one that bothered me, if MM killings and visions were for/about the family, then where is Judith in the visions?
    I’m one of the fans of RZ’s first remake, and I gave this film every chance, but I wish I could express the wave of disappointment as it rushed over me when I realized how bad this movie is! There was so much material for a good sequel and RZ just screwed it up!

  • solus

    “Of all the films in the Michael Myers franchise, this Halloween II may be the most plodding and thin entry to date.”

    I suppose you haven’t seen any of the Halloween films after the 1980 Halloween II.

    Admittedly, this film wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but it’s light years beyond any of the drivel that’s been put out under the Halloween moniker since the Myers-less third installment.

    • DavidFullam

      “I suppose you haven’t seen any of the Halloween films after the 1980 Halloween II.
      Admittedly, this film wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but it’s light years beyond any of the drivel that’s been put out under the Halloween moniker since the Myers-less third installment”

      Seriously, Andrew must have missed those while blowing his wad over Funny Games (It breaks the 4th wall you know).

    • Sirand

      Yes, I’ve seen all the sequels. But ya know what? As awful as they were, they were shorter and had more going on. At least Myers did his Myers-thing instead of walking around through fields half the movie.

  • The Unknown Murderer

    Too bad..I was hoping for “So bad it’s fun” at the least.

    I’m beginning to think Rob Zombie never had any real filmmaking talent at all and that ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ was just an anomaly.

    • Mr. Gray

      Same here. After the first film got the burden of being a remake out of the way, Zombie had a blank slate for this one. He could have just gone nuts with it and done just about anything he wanted.

      And this is the best he could come up with?

      • The Unknown Murderer

        No kidding. Now he’s remaking The Blob.

        I say ‘Screw it’. I’m staying home and I’m gonna watch “It” and “Return of the Lving Dead” for the umpteenth time.

  • Mr. Gray

    What you say about Loomis reminds me of Roland Emmerich throwing a bumbling “Mayor Ebert” into the American Godzilla.

    It’s as if these guys think critics and fans are just picking on them to be dicks. We just don’t understand them, so their subsequent efforts drip with mockery.

    This is the cinematic equivalent of taking your ball and going home.